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So, as you might know, President Hugo Chavez has made it his personal mission to make Venezuela the largest garrison state in South America. His stated goal is to prepare his country to face a possible invasion from the United States. In doing so he

Of course, a lot of this comes from inept US meddling early on during the Bush Administration after a coup d'état by his countries military attempted to topple his government. Besides the fact that President Chavez attempted the same thing back when he was LTC Chavez of the Venezuelan Army, US intervention in Iraq has provided him a fantastic whipping post to stir up his electorate and model himself as the next Fidel Castro. In order to build this image, he has placed an order for large amounts of weapons from the Russian Federation, including attack helicopters and AK-103 assault rifles.

On the surface, for most countries this wouldn't be an issue, but this creates unique issues with Venezuela.

To quote The American Federation of Scientists:

While Chavez’s colorful insults steal the headlines, the issue of greatest importance—the influx of thousands of rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition into a region rife with black market arms trafficking—has received scant meaningful attention. The illicit arms trade stocks the arsenals of Colombian rebels and international narcotics traffickers, and the Venezuelan military has already inadvertently contributed dozens of its old FAL assault rifles to this trade. A 2003 study by the RAND Corporation found that weapons, some of which "are registered to the Venezuelan Armed Forces...routinely move from Venezuela into Colombia." These findings are corroborated by a variety of sources, including Colombian government officials and defectors from the main rebel group, the FARC. In an interview that appeared in Jane’s Intelligence Review, a former member of the FARC’s ‘16th Front’ claimed that the rebels "...brought in rifles from Venezuela, such as used FALs in lots of 50..." from a supplier in Maracay, Venezuela’s main garrison town.

So besides the fact we have created a vocal opponent of the United States to slime our name on a world stage, we now have created a new source of weapons for the ongoing Civil War in Columbia. One has to ask how many lives will be claimed by these weapons if and when they filter to the different leftist revolutionary and rightist reactionary groups in Columbia.

The disturbing part of this, of course, is that this problem wouldn't be nearly as bad if we had payed attention to blowback from similar radical coup attempts in the past. But, of course, the main drawback to Republican foreign policy is that it more often than not takes the wizz-bang elements from bad techno-thrillers and spy novels and attempts to translate it into reality. Never mind that the real world tends to be a lot more complicated. With our current reputation, however, diplomatic overtures to control these arms will be greatly reduced in effectiveness.

Hopefully with a new congress and in 2008 a new administration we can attempt to mend bridges with the rest of the world. Since the end of the Cold War, we as the United States have pooh-poohed the influence of Soft Power. This blame spans the administration of Bush I, Clinton (to a lesser extent), and Bush II (to a much greater extent: Secretary Rumsfeld once commented that "[soft power] didn't exist") and if we expect the United States to continue to play a safe and prosperous role in world affairs we must endeavor to rebuild it, or else another state like the People's Republic of China who has less than questionable values to extend to the world at large is going to take our place.

Originally posted to aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 10:44 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your Spelling Of Bazaar, Is Bizarre, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PoliMorf, Ritter, shaharazade

    and the same can be said for this diary.  For starters, what Is a Terrorist Arms Bazzar?

    •  Venezuela (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      ...as well as a number of other countries in the general area have proven an efficient means to move small arms (weapons of minor destruction) into Columbia during its long-lasting civil war. These weapons have provided not only the leftist revolutionaries, but also the rightist death squads the tools they need to terrorize the population.

      "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

      by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 10:55:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks For Correcting The Title. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, Kingsmeg, shaharazade

        And, would one of the "other countries" supplying weapons in Colombia, be The United States of America?

        •  Yes, thats true... (0+ / 0-)

          ...but then we're providing the weapons to the government there, which while having something of a negative track record are hardly as bad as the narco-terrorists that brought us such wonderful Civil Affairs tools as the C4 Explosives Necklace.

          Should the United States look into reevaluating its own weapons distribution and sales activities? Certainly. But that doesn't negate the need to prevent proliferation in other areas.

          "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

          by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:06:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Only Thing Bush's Policies Seem To Be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ritter

            preventing is Non-Proliferation.  And since you want to keep adding new issues and avoiding the issue with your diary - how's Bush's re-evaluation and preventing proliferation, going in North Korea?

            •  I couldn't agree more... (0+ / 0-)

              ...non-proliferation is falling apart, and I wouldn't like to give the image otherwise. However, to argue that Venezuela is helping the issue just isn't accurate.

              "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

              by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:19:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leonard145b

        Of course it would have been nice if you had noted that the civil war in Colombia is heading towards its 50th anniversary and that there has been arms smuggling into the war zone for decades - most of which predate Chavez's time as president of Venezuela.

        The largest arms supplier to the region is, of course, the USA.

  •  What goes around seems to come around. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ritter, shaharazade

    http://www.progressivehistorians.com/frontPage.do

    by epppie on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 10:52:34 PM PST

  •  Heh! (7+ / 0-)

    The USA doesn't want competition in supplying Colombian terrorists.

    Washington’s Colombian Habit

    As U.S. involvement in Colombia’s civil war reaches dangerous new levels, there are new allegations about just what U.S. taxpayers are getting for the billions of dollars. In the last two months, five U.S. soldiers have been arrested on cocaine smuggling charges, two other U.S. troops were arrested for allegedly arranging an arms deal with Colombia’s rightwing paramilitaries, and—despite running the largest current account deficit in U.S. history—the Bush Administration is now seeking an additional $734 million to continue its counternarcotics folly in Colombia, despite no evidence of a reduction in supply.

    In the most recent scandal to plague the embattled U.S. military, Warrant Officer Allan N. Tanquary and Sergeant Jesus Hernandez of the 7th Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg were arrested by Colombian police on May 3. Serving in Colombia as part of the U.S. contingent of 800 military advisors to the Colombian military, the pair were caught with three Colombian civilians and over 40,000 rounds of ammunition that Colombian officials say were destined to be sold to members of Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries, a group with which the Colombian military is theoretically at war, and which the U.S. government considers a terrorist organization.

    •  In defense of US policy... (0+ / 0-)

      ...this is hardly a deliberate and planned effort, but rather a few SF troopers looking to make a quick buck by selling the surplus weapons they have access to.

      Commanders in foreign countries have an extra challenge in their duties in that they have to prevent this sort of thing.

      "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

      by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:03:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, We Await Your Defense Of Bush's Policies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ritter

        in Venezuela and Colombia.

        •  Explain to me how I'm defending Bush policy? (0+ / 0-)

          No matter how you cut it, we're hardly actively going out and handing out weapons to right wing death squads. These have been cases of soldiers ignoring the rules and regulations they're bound to follow. US policy in Columbia is an absolute train wreck, but we're not going so far as actively signing off on arming terrorists.

          I have many, many criticisms as to Bush White House foreign policy, not the least of it the loss of US influence not only in South and Central America, but the rest of the world. But to say that the acts of a few rogue Special Forces and Air Force personnel is a deliberate policy borders on slander, not to mention making reasonable criticisms look more and more like the insane ramblings of a conspiracy theorist.

          "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

          by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:11:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You Said, "In defense of US policy" (0+ / 0-)

            and you also said "not to mention making reasonable criticisms look more and more like the insane ramblings of a conspiracy theorist."

            •  I said the first part as in... (0+ / 0-)

              ...things are bad, but they hardly go THAT far.

              And the second part? I pretty much stand by it. If people expect liberals to actually do some good in this country like we need to, we're going to have to tone down the frothing at the mouth when it comes to things like this.

              "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

              by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:31:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Excuse me? (7+ / 0-)

            With all due respect, long before Reagan's comlicity with the Contra terrorists and the other death squads in Central America, the U.S. has known full well what is happening in Latin America. Abrams, Poindexter and Negroponte were well aware of the situation. Not only has the government known about the atrocities, but with the School for the Americas, it has been actively involved in the training of those who commit those crimes.

            To blame this on a "rogue" group is to ignore reality.

            To move back to the center, the country must move left.

            by slatsg on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:33:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  And your proof is ... ? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yellowdog, weasel, Ritter, irate, leonard145b

        US policy in Latin America has been to train and arm death squadders up and down the continents. Why is this any different than all the other places that have had truth commissions?

        Or, if we accept your "benevolence" hypothesis, none of that death squad activity was intended, and that only makes us the most egregiously incompetent "benevolent" force ever. With benevolence from us, who needs enemies?

        There's a list of notorious SOA graduates for every country we've "helped" (resulting in massacres galore)

        Here's the one for Colombia:
        http://www.derechos.org/...

        If I was them I'd ask us to stop "helping".

        •  Benevolence hypothesis, eh? (0+ / 0-)

          God I'm good. I'm making arguments without even POSTING them.

          Does the US have a reputation of arming some pretty scummy people? God yes, and it makes me sick every time I see it. But just because some Special Operations troops got caught making themselves a profit selling weapons doesn't imply that there was an active effort by US government officials to arm these groups. I mean I've seen how these SF teams operate, and the tolerances are pretty loose. Loose enough for one or two individuals more interested in making money for themselves than doing the job they were sent to do, especially in a place as corrupt as Columbia. 99.9% of soldiers are honest, dedicated individuals. Assholes like this create a bad image.

          I mean I really don't like the Bush Administration, but damn.

          "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

          by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:15:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're being deliberately blind (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaleA, Ritter, shaharazade, leonard145b

            We've armed and trained thugs in Colombia for FIFTY years. It can hardly be called "a few bad apples" at this point. Not when a big thug among them can travel freely to this country and shake hands with our leaders.

            To crush the poor

            Last week, on the day George Bush delivered his state of the union address, the Pentagon received a visitor. A few hours before the president told the American people that "we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men", General Carlos Ospina, head of the Colombian army, was shaking hands with his American counterpart. He had come to discuss the latest instalment of US military aid.

            General Ospina has done well. Just four years ago he was a lieutenant-colonel in command of the army's fourth brigade. He was promoted first to divisional commander, then, in August last year, to chief of the army. But let us dwell for a moment on his career as a brigadier, and his impressive contribution to the war against terror.
            According to Human Rights Watch, the fourth brigade, under Ospina's command, worked alongside the death squads controlled by the paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño. In a report published three years ago, it summarises the results of an investigation carried out by the attorney general's office in Colombia. On October 25 1997, a force composed of Ospina's regulars and Castaño's paramilitaries surrounded a village called El Aro, in a region considered sympathetic to the country's leftwing guerrillas. The soldiers cordoned off the village while Castaño's men moved in. They captured a shopkeeper, tied him to a tree, gouged out his eyes, cut off his tongue and castrated him. The other residents tried to flee, but were turned back by Ospina's troops. The paramilitaries then mutilated and beheaded 11 of the villagers, including three children, burned the church, the pharmacy and most of the houses and smashed the water pipes. When they left, they took 30 people with them, who are now listed among Colombia's disappeared.

            This operation was unusual only in that it has been so well-documented...

            •  Harlons Razor jumps to mind... (0+ / 0-)

              ...don't attribute blatant stupidity for malevolence.

              "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

              by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:21:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Either way (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yellowdog, leonard145b

                we suck. Take your pick.

                At least it wasn't intentional! The new standard of American excellence?

                Physician, do no harm. That ought to be the first rule. We do harm. Until that stops, we need to stop casting stones at other peoples' glass houses.

                •  We have to improve, I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't also work to work to correct problems on the world stage. If your house is on fire, you try to put it out. But you also point out when the fire spreads to your neighbors house.

                  This has been my greatest beef with the last six years of foreign policy. We have a responsibility as the worlds only superpower to do good things, but our bumbling has made it so that people are always going to have a foul taste in their mouths as to our intentions and our possibilities of success.

                  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

                  by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:28:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  You really think it's "99.9%"? (0+ / 0-)

            Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

            by ben masel on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 12:03:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It isn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Euroliberal

              From a 1996 Human Rights Watch report (well before the multi-*billion* dollar Plan Colombia expansion)

              HRW documented that the US govt helped the Colombian govt organize a new "plausibly denied" network that connected the Colombian military to various paramilitary death squads who murdered and disappeared civilians (including union leaders, teachers, attorneys, etc)

              III. THE INTELLIGENCE REORGANIZATION


              Nevertheless, these recommendations were given despite the fact that some of the U.S. officials who collaborated with the team knew of the Colombian military's record of human rights abuses and its ongoing relations with paramilitaries - a relationship Human Rights Watch has been documenting in its reports for years. "The intent was not to be associated with paramilitaries," Colonel Roach said. "But we knew from Colombian news reports and [even] from Colombian military reports that they were still working with paramilitaries." 69

              ...

              The result was Order 200-05/91, issued by the Colombian Defense Ministry in May 1991 (see Appendix A). Human Rights Watch is making Order 200-05/91 public for the first time. Contrary to the stated objectives of the Andean strategy, however, Order 200-05/91 has little if anything to do with combating drugs. Indeed, throughout its sixteen pages and corresponding appendices, the order, marked "reserved," makes no mention of drugs. Instead, the Colombian military, "based on the recommendations made by a commission of advisors from the U.S. Armed Forces," presented a plan to better combat what they call "escalating terrorism by armed subversion." 71

              The order provided for each network to be supplied with a staff and administered by "an active-duty officer with great knowledge of the region and its problems, who can easily interact with people of the zone in order to maintain his front." In turn, this officer was to be assisted by "an officer or non-commissioned officer, retired or in active service, who has resources including a false identity and history, a vehicle, and a pre-established system of communications. He should have easy access to the target area.... He may also be a trustworthy civilian with training and influence." We do not know how many of the authorized networks were in fact established.

              Under this employee were "control agents," "civilians or retired non-commissioned officers with sufficient experience and status." In turn, Order 200-05/91 provided for each network to hire from twenty-five to fifty "intelligence agents," who "must be, if possible, retired non-commissioned officers, trained to handle informants and process information." The informants, the order stressed, should be required to "maintain the highest degree of reserve before the people with whom they live." Order 200-05/91 instructs division and brigade commanders to select candidates "whether civilians or retired military personnel, for integration into the network's cadre," but fails to make any mention of Decree 1194 or exclude paramilitaries from the ranks of the new intelligence networks. Order 200-05/91 does include, however, an urgent warning: the entire chain of command as well as the networks themselves must remain secret:

              The study, selection, instruction, training, location and organization of these networks, urban as well as rural, will be covert and under the responsibility of the Division or Brigade Commanders, or their equivalents in other forces, and the Network Commanders.

              All written material was to be removed once the process is completed. Open contacts and interaction with military installations "must be avoided." There "must be no written contracts with informants or civilian members of the network; everything must be agreed to orally." And the handling of the networks themselves "will be covert and compartmentalized, allowing for the necessary flexibility to cover targets of interest."

              [That's the "plausible deniability" part for those playing along at home...]

              VI. THE U.S. ROLE

              Not only did the United States play a disturbing role in supporting the military intelligence reorganization that led to serious human rights violations, U.S. aid, weapons, materiel, and training meant to fight drugs have gone to units implicated in serious human rights violations, a fact the United States is aware of but has not made public. In addition, Colombian officers linked to human rights violations have received U.S. training, including CIA-sponsored training in Panama and at the School of the Americas, and have even served at the School of the Americas and the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, D.C. as instructors.

              U.S. arms sales to Colombia not only continue unimpeded, but are expected to reach a record level. Military aid provided to Colombia by the U.S. has been used to finance weapons purchases from the U.S, which totaled $73 million in FY 1992, $45 million in FY 1993, $88 million in FY 1994, and $31 million in FY 1995. The Pentagon estimates sales in FY 1996 at $84 million and in FY 1997 at $123 million - the highest level ever.

              ...

              Human Rights Watch has also obtained the in-country U.S. Military Advisory Group deployment schedule for fiscal year 1996, included here as Appendix C. It shows that U.S. military personnel continue to advise and train the Colombian military, including the navy, and work in areas where the military maintains a partnership with paramilitaries.

      •  heh, gotcha (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weasel, leonard145b

        One could just as easily note that the passage of Venezuelan military surplus is hardly a deliberate and planned effort, rather a few troopers looking to make a quick buck. For some reason you're applying a hilariously silly and hopelessly inconsistent double standard.

        BTW, the opening statement in your diary is ludicrous: how do you deduce that Chavez has made it a personal mission to turn Venezuela into a "garrison state" of any description - I'd be grateful if you could actually point to a statement that backs the assertion up. Needless to say, it is of course equally ludicrous for any state, except the US and a few select others, to have a national security/national defence policy which might seek to identify threats to the nation and adopt policies to counter them.

      •  Ahh the old 'bad apples' thing' again huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metal prophet

        But Chavez is PERSONALLY responisble and plans in advance every single thing in Venezuela that BushCo and their... ahem... apologists... find offensive or POTENTIALLY offensive (such as what this diary 'addresses')?

        So... if I'm getting this diary right, Venezuela has NO RIGHT to arm itself against a clearly and openly hostile US (BTW the coup was engineered and approved by the US, not Venezuela's military... the elites of which carried it out and the majority of which helped reverse it) because such an action MIGHT supply arms in the Colombian civil war, which will SURELY get arms from the US and the international arms market... arms which will be PAID FOR BY THE US BECAUSE WE CONSITENTLY WANT TO ESCALATE SAID CIVIL WAR?

        That's really... really absurd.  But please, tell me if I misread your diary.

        Anyway... bottom line.  Venezuela has a right to arm itself as it sees fit, since it is a sovreign nation.  Chavez is correct that the US is hostile, and a presdident SHOULD defend his country against potential foreign aggression (though not with pre-emptive war... like a certain asshole president likes to do).  Colombia will have weapons and the US is notjust arming 'the government' but also right-wing para-militaries and drug lords.  So this diary is basically wrong in every possible way.

  •  When did we begin this: (3+ / 0-)

    if we expect the United States to continue to play a safe and prosperous role in world affairs

    The abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, Secret CIA prisons in Europe, white phosphorus in the attack on Fallujah, the whole pre-emptive war in Iraq and the continued occupation of that country. Bush's whole philosophy of "your either with us or against us" has most nations of the world deeply concerned about American intentions and behavior.

    "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel" Homer Simpson

    by irate on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:21:52 PM PST

    •  Which, of course... (0+ / 0-)

      ...is key to developing US legitimacy on the world stage.

      I had the distinct pleasure of moving the United States  over 10 years ago, and I came in during the Clinton Administration. The world at large had a fair amount of respect and admiration for the United States. Of course now I can't call home without being told how far the United States has fallen. I lay the blame squarely at the feet of this neoconservative mindset. This whole atmosphere has spawned with the inept handling of world affairs in the past 6 years.

      I really think looking at the heart of the United States that we can give a lot to the world. But if we're going to do that, we're going to have to learn how to leverage military action with the multitude of other tools avaliable to statesmen.

      "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -President John F. Kennedy -1.75, -3.23

      by aussieyank on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:25:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't just the last six years, though (0+ / 0-)

        Clinton was all right, but he was still a unilateralist, just a far gentler one than Bush is. According to Noam Chomsky, under the standards of the Nuremburg Trials, EVERY US President since Truman would have been hanged. While I don't quite go that far, it's a point worth making. Since World War II, the times that US has put hard power into use (whether covert or overt) has been used for ill far more often then for good.

  •  The Bolivarian Revolution (7+ / 0-)

    Your framework for viewing the social movement in Venezuela recycles some classical misconceptions.

    First of all you only state Chavez's mission from a limited and fear inducing military and arms perspective

    So, as you might know, President Hugo Chavez has made it his personal mission to make Venezuela the largest garrison state in South America. His stated goal is to prepare his country to face a possible invasion from the United States.

    Chavez's mission is to create an equitable society of social and economic justice. The coup you mentioned him leading came after the disturbances of February 27th, 1989 caused by price increases created by the people's reaction to IMF policies being enforced by a corrupt president. Chavez actually cut short his coup stating that " we cannot achieve our objectives now". He urged people to lay down their arms and stressed the importance of a peaceful revolution.

    The social movement, the Bolivarian Revolution, found an ally in the armed forces in Chavez.

    The Bolivarian Revolution  was rooted in the poor and dispossessed of Venezuela and led to the formation of a new constitution, and the election of Chavez with a 59% majority.

    Undoubtedly there is a sector of U.S. American society uncomfortable with the aims of this social movement. It would benefit this sector greatly for us to fear the evolution of Venezuela's social movement for economic justice and participatory democracy.

    and model himself as the next Fidel Castro.

    The Bolivarian Revolution specifically said it did not want to use the cuban model or the soviet model. Chavez has been elected three times by popular vote. Venezuelans carry copies of their constitution around with them. Chavez has sought to empower the people. I think characterizing Chavez as Castro is an easy way to villify him and demonize him as a personality instead of reckoning with the social forcees that create the Bolivarian Revolution.

    When our tax dollars instigated the failed 2002 coup, it was the massive spontaneous demonstrations of the people that brought the rightful ruler of Venezuela back to power. Before resorting to character cliches of Chavez as Castro - and therefore a threat, take some time to understand the greater social forces that brought Chavez to power. And examine his consistent understanding and acknowledgment that that power comes from the people he is serving

    we now have created a new source of weapons for the ongoing Civil War in Columbia.

    This indeed we have done, but much more so through Plan Colombia, which has seen an unprecedented amount of military aid in the form of weapons get sent to Colombia from the US.

    If a country you were in charge of, was having massive amounts of arms shipped to the country next to it, by a country that has helped instigate a coup to eliminate you from power, would you consider investing in some arms to protect yourself?

    another state like the People's Republic of China who has less than questionable values to extend to the world at large is going to take our place.

    I challenge this comparison.
    Freedom of the Press exists in Venezuela.
    Venezuela holds internationally recognized democratic elections.
    Participatory democracy is stressed at all levels of society.

    The only comparisons that hold Venezuela to China is its capacity to evoke fear in the US and to evolve into a world power, which it is doing by supporting the quality of life in its regional sphere, quite differently than China. In 2005 when there was a spike in oil prices Chavez lent countries in Central America the cost of the spike plus 1% repayable over 25 years. That is called helping your neighbor.

    Chavez will be portrayed as a purveyor of violence and instability in his region. Who is drawing this frame and who benefits from it?

    Chavez is increasing access to health care, funding education, and doing so by redirecting the profits of the oil industry.

    Are these goals so radically different than what most US americans would like to see now. Let's build bridges of understanding by clearing away some of the old and dysfunctional filters of how we see social movements in latin america.

    penetrating wisdom for the politically repressed

    by Thirdeye Pushpin on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:39:35 PM PST

  •  Think we need more War and killing and maiming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet

    our Intelligence thinks so. Monies are being shipped around the world in bundles and with ease.

    here's a follow the money link and these are just the discoverd ones.

    http://www.innercitypress.org/...

    Imprison Bush because we blew it on Nixon.

  •  Dropped a few words in the opening paragraph... (0+ / 0-)

    Here 'tis -- note the line in bold:

    So, as you might know, President Hugo Chavez has made it his personal mission to make Venezuela the largest garrison state in South America. His stated goal is to prepare his country to face a possible invasion from the United States. In doing so he

    It's a bit of a fragment...hurt my brain at this early hour.

    :/

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 01:17:57 AM PST

  •  We need to start talking to the governments of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet

    other countries particularly the ones we dont get on with instead of threatening them. This would be the action of a responsible country, and it doesnt do any harm either. This is even truer now our big bully act has ended in middle eastern defeat.

  •  Chavez good (0+ / 0-)

    Chavez is a democratically elected president who I personally would have voted for if I was Venezuelian. The United States and the World Bank have raped and pillaged South America for decades. The fact that South America is fighting back by removing the corrupt governments we installed is a good thing.

    Haven't you heard we won the Cold War. The Commies are no longer a danger. Now we got to "liberate" the Islamic Facsists. The Peoples Republic of China along with the Saudis own us, their our money men. The coup you speak of was for and by the people that seek to own us all. I think I smell sulfur here too.  

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